Filed under: Scotland, Travel | Tags: Altamount House Hotel, Altamount Park, Blairgowrie, Camera Obscura, JM Barrie, Kirriemuir, Perthshire
Altamount House Hotel, Blairgowrie.
Neelam has organised a mid-week escape for the two of us to the Altamount House Hotel at Blairgowrie near Perth. It is definitely a place to which escape, whereas it does have free wifi it is slow, but we are not here to work, we’re here to relax.
From the start it has been a relaxing experience, as we pulled up the friendly staff sprang into action directing us to a suitable parking space, although I expect we were lucky that they were outside as we arrived. However there is a car park behind the hotel and plenty of temporary waiting space in front of it for the offloading of luggage.
We are in one of the courtyard rooms in the converted stables behind the main building. The courtyard rooms have all the usual facilities, television, tea & coffee, en-suite shower room, and iron & ironing board – they won’t get used I’m here to relax! Each courtyard room has its own front door onto the, now, grassed over and well maintained courtyard. What is even more fun is that the door is like a stable door, so that one can open the upper half watch the world go by, or stick out one’s head and make whinnying sounds if one prefers.
The food in the Peacock Restaurant, which is also open to non-residents, is truly wonderful, although the vegetarian options are limited. We had a Mediterranean Vegetable Pie whose pastry was so light it was threatening to float into the air and it was delicious. I followed it with a Toffee Apple Bread and Butter Pudding with Caramel Custard. I love caramel, which is good as the flavour of the apple was completely swamped, perhaps a little more apple would have been better, however I thoroughly enjoyed it. As a vegetarian the second night presented a challenge as we had exhausted the main course vegetarian options the previous night. However Neelam had a very good Goats Cheese and Beetroot Salad, and I had a baked Camembert which she shared. We went straight to desert, I thoroughly enjoyed a Citron Tart whose acidity was balanced by Pistachio ice cream. Neelam had a Date Pudding with Butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream. I must say again the Altamount’s desert menu is nothing short of paradisical.
Breakfast consists of a buffet of cereals and juices as well as tea or coffee and toast plus a selection from the menu. Again there is a limited choice for vegetarians, but various types of eggs on toast are available and so is fruit salad, there is a good selection for meat eaters. One thing that does strike me is that if they provide Eggs Benedict it would be very easy to provide Oeufs Florentine as a vegetarian alternative.
They have a small bar with a modest but discriminating selection of whiskies and a comfortable television lounge. The hotel welcomes children and dogs.
As well as the hotel the Altamount provides various types of well-priced self catering accommodation for numbers from two to eight.
I was surprised at how convenient Blairgowrie is for the exploration of a large part of Scotland. As long as one has a car one is within range not only of beautiful countryside, but also the distilleries of Speyside, the theatre in Pitlochrie, the magnificent gardens of Perthshire, and some good walking, even the Cairngorms are not too far. With only one day we chose to visit Kirriemuir to see the birthplace of JM Barrie and marvel at the Camera Obscura he gave to the town. The sun shone and it was an enjoyable afternoon.
Were I a meat eater I could happily stay at the Altamount House Hotel for days and days, but as a vegetarian the menu limits me to two, or one if I need a main course. Having said that I would certainly visit again for a short stay. Were they to have several vegetarian options, or even just a different one each night over several days, I would be happy to stay longer. I would cheerfully recommend the Altamount House to anyone wanting to holiday in Perthshire, and am seriously thinking about the self catering options too. I am quite sorry we have to check out today, I have enjoyed myself
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